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Softhearted yet insecure, Yuri Katsuki has loved being on the ice since a child and has since risen to become a top figure skater certified by the Japan Skating Federation (JSF). When his ice skating inspiration and lifelong idol Victor Nikiforov, a charismatic skater who has won five World Championships, comes across a video of Yuri perfectly replicating his “Stay Close to Me” free skate, he is compelled to quickly become his coach. Soon their relationship blossoms into much more as Yuri strives to win the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and become the world’s best ice skater.
Yuri’s other relationships include his friendly rival Yuri Plisetsky, motherly ballet teacher Minako Okukawa, close friend Takeshi Nishigori, close friend, past roommate, and rinkmate Phichit Chulanont, and former coach Celestino Cialdini. Of course, Vicchan, Yuri’s late companion animal named after Victor, must also be mentioned (R.I.P).
Yuri!!! on Ice was directed by Sayo Yamamoto, written by Mitsuro Kubo and Taku Matsushiba, and produced by MAPPA. Character designs were done by Tadashi Hiramatsu, the music was composed by Taro Umebayashi and Taku Matsushiba, and the ice skating routines were choreographed by Kenji Miyamoto. The series had an average of 48.5 key animators per episode, more key animators than any other fall 2016 anime.
Of the seven Crunchyroll Anime Awards it was nominated for, it won six: Best Boy (Yuri K.), Best Animation, Most Heartwarming Scene (“The Kiss,” Episode 7), Best Couple (Yuri K. & Victor), Best Opening (“History Maker” by Dean Fujioka), and Best Closing (“You Only Live Once” by Wataru Hatano). The series has been well received by fans, professional ice skaters, and even professional pole dancers for its accuracy of a particular drunken scene as well as has received both praise and mild criticism for its depiction of a same-sex relationship between Yuri and Victor. Although to date (Jan. ‘17) a second season has yet to be announced, it is one of the the most anticipated sequels of 2017.